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Injuries throw the Cards into a 52 card pickup scenario. How will this affect their run game plan?
Injuries. They've begun to take their toll on the 2012 Arizona Cardinals team. Power back Beanie Wells has been placed on IR with turf toe. He's slotted to back in November. What's been lost in all the talk of the Beanie Wells injury is how the rest of the backfield corps has been decimated by injury as well.
Tyler Nickel wrote up an injury report on the Cards, it can be found here. Listed under the did not participate column are LaRod Stephens-Howling, Anthony Sherman, Todd Heap, and Jim Dray. Under the full participants are Ryan Williams and Jeff King.
That's three of the Card's four tight ends and the only full back they've carried. To counter the injury to Sherman, the organization has signed Korey Hall, while standing pat on their TEs. Alphonso Smith comes back to the team, courtesy of Wells' vacated slot. However, not one of the three RBs active on the roster equal the bruiser back that Wells is.
So what does that give the Cardinals to game plan with against the visiting Miami Dolphins? A backfield of Ryan Williams, William Powell, and Alphonso Smith. Hall gets the FB look. For TE's, unless things change, it's Jeff King and Rob Housler.
The first three weeks of the season the Card's run game has been less than stellar, while Miami's run D has been very stifling up the middle. On the flip side, Miami's secondary is very soft. The run game can benefit from this by using the pass to set up the run. Attack the weakness.
Throw the ball to start the game. Quick slants, TE drags, short hooks. Use formations that can be run from as you do. Test the outside of the Miami defense. RB hitches to the outside. Evaluate the draw play as something other than a third and long choice. And lastly, if they are strong at the point of attack, move the point of attack. Shift the line, make the defense move to the ball.
Running the rock is important in football, regardless of how large the swing to a passing league it's taken. Arizona needs their run game to valid against this Dolphins team, if nothing else than to be the cornerstone to build upon for upcoming games.